A Formlabs, apareceu na CES com uma resina experimental que pode permitir que as pessoas criem objetos de cerâmica com a impressão 3D. As partículas cerâmicas são suspensas dentro da resina, que imprime apenas como o plástico usado atualmente para a fabricação aditiva. Mas quando você aquece sua criação em um forno, ela endurece como um pedaço de cerâmica normal. Infelizmente, é apenas uma demonstração por enquanto, mas a empresa espera ter o material pronto para um consumo mais amplo ainda este ano..
Then there’s 3D printing with metal, which is seen as something of a holy grail for many industries looking to craft tools, parts and devices. It’s possible right now, using sintering, and is both costly and time-consuming in a way that means it’s outside the reach of most hobbyists. Florida startup Ability 3D is looking to change that with its metal addictive manufacturing 3D printer that’s actually designed for the home — or, at least, workshop or garage.
The unit has been set up like a regular 3D printing, but the head has been swapped out for a MIG welder on a moving plate. It can accept regular MIG welding wire, enabling it to produce doodads out of aluminum, steel and stainless steel. But one innovation that the company is proud to talk about is the addition of a trimming bit to clean up printed objects. For instance, we saw this block of solid aluminum (pictured) that had been printed and polished across four layers.
The company was founded by Ben Willard, a 3D printer technician, and his wife Nicholl Hyatt, who is in marketing. Hyatt explained that Willard grew tired of “waiting around for MakerBot” to build a printer that could handle metal. As such, he was motivated to develop his own, which he plans to launch on Kickstarter in March.
At $3,000 it isn’t cheap, but considering the potential of the device to empower hobbyists to produce metal components, it may be quite a big deal. Hyatt also said that she’s had a lot of interest from classic car fans looking to craft replacement parts that are otherwise unavailable. Point is, we may be close to the day when 3D printing doesn’t instantly bring to mind images of useless tchotchkes.
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